Telltale Games Confirms Layoffs, In-Development Games Remain In Production
Earlier today, former Telltale Games cinematic artist Jonah Huang revealed on Twitter that he had been laid off from the studio in early September. In his tweet, he writes that "Telltale laid most of us off in early September," and that the layoffs occurred weeks after the company acquired U.K.-based studio, Flavourworks, which developed Erica.
This is a sore subject, but I feel it necessary to add to the gaming layoff news: Telltale laid most of us off early September. Status of TWAU2, I can't say (NDA).— jjonahjonahson (@jjonahjonahson) October 5, 2023
Now, I focus on what matters to me—my own game, and the following words:
Games industry, we must UNIONIZE.
Telltale has now confirmed to Game Informer that layoffs at the studio did occur, although its official statement features no mention of just how many employees were let go. The statement doesn't mention severance for laid-off employees, but Huang notes on Twitter that he's received a severance package.
Here's Telltale's statement to Game Informer, in full:
Game Informer asked Telltale how many employees it laid off, but was not able to receive specific numbers, departments affected, or further updates beyond the above statement on in-development projects. However, as previously noted, Huang, who goes by J.H. according to their website, says Telltale laid "most of us off."
These Telltale layoffs come years after the studio's 2019 resurrection by new management. In 2018, the studio laid off 90 percent of its staff before eventually closing altogether later that year. Pre-closure, Telltale was perhaps best known for its four-season, episodic game, The Walking Dead. Roughly a year after its closure, the company was purchased in 2019 by its now-CEO, Jamie Ottilie, and investors with the desire to bring the narrative-based studio back to life.
The new Telltale appeared with a trailer at The Games Awards 2019 for its new take on The Wolf Among Us 2, a sequel that was reportedly in development at the previous iteration of the studio. The last we heard of that game was back in March, when Telltale revealed it was delaying it out of 2023 and into next year.
While The Wolf Among Us 2 was the first game this new iteration of Telltale showed off, its first game is actually The Expanse: A Telltale Series, which it published and developed alongside Deck Nine, with its first episode released back in July. All five of its episodes were released between July and September. The Expanse: A Telltale Series currently sits at a 76 on Metacritic.
The hearts of the Game Informer staff are with everyone affected by these layoffs and those still at the studio.
[Editor's Note: This story has been updated with a new image to reflect Telltale Games' most recent logo, and to include mention that Huang received severenace]